">
Two slain in knife attack at Swedish IKEA furniture retailer

March 24th, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Two people were killed yesterday afternoon and another seriously injured in Västerås, Sweden. The injured man is considered a suspect in the knife attack and was arrested in hospital. Another man was arrested at the scene, which was an IKEA furniture retailer. According to police, the two fatalities do not have any obvious connection to the suspects, but did know each other. The motive is, thus far, unknown.

Police were called to the scene at 13:00 local time and found three stab victims. Initially, all three were considered victims, but the status of one has been changed to suspect. The other two, a man and a woman, subsequently died from their wounds. Police have said CCTV is helping in the investigation. Local newspaper Vestmanlands Läns Tidning (VLT) has reportedly posted footage of one of the suspects being tackled by police.

VLT has further claimed to have identified the two victims as a mother and son, aged 55 and 28 respectively. According to the paper, the victims were not local residents, but did have a connection with Västerås, where they were vacationing at the time of the attack, which a police spokesperson has called “an act of madness” ((sv))Swedish language: ?En galen händelse.

“This is the worst working day of my life” ((sv))Swedish language: ?Det är den värsta arbetsdagen i mitt liv, said Mattias Johansson, the store manager of IKEA in Västerås, to Sveriges Television. IKEA spokesperson Anna Pilkrona-Godden told BBC News, “Our thoughts are with those affected,” and said the store is closed for the time being.

Västerås is in central Sweden, approximately 115 km (70 miles) west from the capital Stockholm. The population is roughly 110 thousand.

">
Nine dead after armed Santa Claus opens fire in LA suburb

March 24th, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Monday, December 29, 2008

At least nine people have been killed in a two-story house in Covina, California, after a man dressed in a full Santa Claus outfit opened fire at a Christmas Eve party and then set the house ablaze. Covina is a city in Los Angeles County, California about 22 miles (35 km) east of downtown Los Angeles.

According to local police, the Christmas party at the 1100 block of East Knollcrest Drive was attended by about 25 people. Trend News Agency said that the gunman fired two semi-automatic handguns and used an apparently home-made pressurized device to spread some kind of accelerant. As the guests tried in vain to escape, the gunman used his ‘present’ to spray inflammable liquid that started the raging blaze. Reports from the scene said Molotov cocktails were also used by the madman.

Media reports said the gunman was plotting vengeance against his ex-wife. Prime suspect, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, age 45, six-foot-three-inch, 250 pound (1.9 meter, 113 kilogram), an electrical engineer, is long time Roman Catholic church usher and a laid-off aerospace worker. He worked with ITT Electronic Systems, Radar Systems, in Van Nuys from February 2005 to July 2008, and as an engineer at Northrop Grumman for five months in 2005, according to Court records. He had also worked for about nine years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena until 1994.

Pardo’s ex-sister-in-law, who escaped from the Covina house alive with her injured daughter, called 911. Police on Friday released her 911 audio.

Msnbc.com has reported that Pardo “has brown hair and blue eyes, and known to frequent La Crescenta and La Verne.” Court records reveal that Mr Pardo’s wife acrimoniously divorced him last September. The divorce decree was finalized December 18. Until earlier this year, he lived in the Sylmar house with his ex-wife and her three children. The marriage lasted barely a year. However, Pardo held no criminal record and had no history of violence.

There is some speculation that the divorce may have been caused by Pardo concealing a paraplegic child from a previous relationship. Matthew, his nine-year-old son, by another former girlfriend, Elena Lucano, became brain damaged when he fell into a backyard swimming pool on Jan. 6, 2001. Pardo kept this child a secret from his wife. Pardo owed her $10,000 as part of the divorce settlement, according to court documents that detailed a bitter split. He also lost a dog he doted on and did not get back a valuable wedding ring. Pardo complained in a court declaration that Sylvia Pardo was living with her parents, not paying rent, and had spent lavishly on a luxury car, gambling trips to Las Vegas, meals at fine restaurants, massages and golf lessons.

After the mass murder, Pardo put on his street clothes and drove his rental Dodge Caliber car to the house of his brother, Jimmy Pardo, in Sylmar, approximately 30 miles away from the crime scene, where he committed suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. His brother was not present in the home and he broke inside to enter in. It was believed that Pardo intended to flee to Canada by plane as he had bought an airline ticket to a flight there from Los Angeles to Moline, Illinois. However due to suffering from severe third-degree burns on both arms stemming from the blaze, he decided to go against the initial plan.

Police had found $17,000 cling-wrapped on his legs inside a girdle, the car key, and his rental car that had been parked on Herrick Avenue, one block from his brother’s house, which had been rigged by remnants of his Santa suit that would ignite a flame and detonate the car with black powder if removed. Also recovered from the scene were four 13-round capacity handguns that were each empty, and at least 200 rounds of ammunition. Suggesting that what had been inside the car was being treated as a threat, police fired an incendiary device into it, destroying and burning it.

The police found on early Thursday, Mr Pardo bore a single gunshot wound to the head. According to LA County coroner’s official Ed Winter, the bodies found in the ashes were “extremely charred and burned.” All three of Sylvia Pardo’s children — Selina, Sal and Amanda — survived. According to the Scott Nord, the Ortega family lawyer, “the entire family was wiped out, and there’s basically like 16 orphans.”

Three other party guests have injuries, according to police. A 16-year-old girl was shot in the back, and an eight-year-old girl suffered facial gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening, while a 20-year-old woman had a broken ankle, after jumping from a second-story window, the police specified. About 80 firefighters put off the fire that soared fifteen metres (40 to 50 feet) high for more than one hour. The police discovered two handguns at the scene, and found two more in the in-laws’ house. Media reports on Friday said the 16-year-old daughter of Sylvia Pardo was released from Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Meanwhile, investigators served a search warrant at Pardo’s Montrose house, where they retrieved evidence of high-octane racing fuel, five empty boxes for semi-automatic handguns, as well as two shotguns.

Covina police Lt. Pat Buchanan on Saturday said they are looking for Pardo’s rented gray 1999 RAV4, with California license plate 5RYD562. Police have found the second rental car Saturday night in a Glendale, California but found no bombs nor any explosives.

The police also revealed Saturday the names of nine people missing since the Christmas Eve massacre occurred. They are Pardo’s ex-wife, Sylvia Pardo, 43; her parents, Joseph Ortega, 80, and Alicia Ortega, 70; Alicia Ortiz, 46, and her son, Michael Ortiz, 17; Sylvia’s brother, Charles Ortega, 50, and his wife, Cheri, 45; another brother, James Ortega, 52, and his wife, Teresa, 51, according to Lt. Buchanan. “Hopefully, we’ll get positive identifications early next week,” Covina Police Chief Kim Raney said.

A murder-suicide is an act in which an individual kills one or more other persons immediately before, or at the same time as, killing him or herself. According to the psychiatrist Karl A. Menninger, murder-suicide or murder and suicide are interchangeable acts – suicide sometimes forestalling murder, and vice versa.

">
Robber holds retired NYC police officer at gunpoint during convention

March 23rd, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Sunday, March 29, 2009

John Comparetto, a retired New York City Police Department lieutenant, was held at gunpoint on Friday morning by an armed nineteen year old in a hotel bathroom who demanded Comparetto’s money and cellphone.

Comparetto handed over both to the thief. When the criminal took off with the money, Comparetto drew his gun from an ankle holster and immediately chased after the robber. Comparetto asked the hotel desk clerk which way the suspect went, and told the clerk to alert officers at a police convention that a fellow policeman was “in need of assistance”.

A police officer’s convention was being held at the Holiday Inn near Harrisburg Friday for 300 narcotics police officers in attendance from Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The teen departed the scene in a taxi cab outside the hotel.

Comparetto said, “I stopped the cab at gunpoint. Ten other cops came running out and we arrested probably the dumbest criminal in Pennsylvania.”

Jerome Marquis Blanchett is being held at Dauphin County Prison following his arrest.

">
Deadly fire below US President’s Trump Tower residence

March 23rd, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

On Saturday, the Trump Tower, in Midtown, New York City, caught fire shortly before 18:00 EST (2200 UTC) on the 50th floor, claiming the life of a 67-year-old resident, Todd Brassner, who lived in apartment 50C. All other residents were evacuated without incident. During the fire, six firefighters received non-life-threatening burns and other minor injuries. Neither US President Donald Trump nor the First Family were in the building at the time of the fire.

The high-end Fifth Avenue address is the personal residence of President Donald Trump, whose family occupies the top three stories of the 58-story building. The US Secret Service maintains a constant security presence inside the building with the New York City Police Department guarding a hard perimeter, intended to stop vehicular attacks, and a soft perimeter, intended for on-foot attacks.

The four-alarm fire required 200 firemen, extra police, and paramedics. At 20:00 EST (0000 UTC Sunday), the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) declared the fire was under control. Trump tweeted, “Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!” This is the second fire at Trump Tower since the election; previously on January 8, a fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in a cooling tower on the roof. Three FDNY firefighters received minor injuries, and all residents and office workers evacuated without incident on that occasion.

Trump Tower provides a number of unique problems never before encountered by the Secret Service. Never has a US President’s personal residence been inside a skyscraper or in a densely populated area like Midtown. The security measures have disrupted vehicular and pedestrian traffic requiring time consuming detours and delaying emergency response.

The New York Fire Code did not mandate sprinkler systems at the time Trump Tower was built in 1983, which might have reduced the size and severity of the fire had they been present. The 50th-floor apartment was, according to FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, “[T]he apartment was virtually, entirely on fire.” The Secret Service monitors all the fire alarms in the building but it took time to find the source of the thick black smoke emanating from the fire. Secret Service Agents escorted the firefighters throughout the building, including the Trump residence.

Brassner, the sole casualty, was unconscious when firefighters pulled him out of apartment 50C. He was transported to Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital. Originally listed as critical, he was pronounced dead sometime during the night. Brassner, guitar collector, was acquainted with artist Andy Warhol and was acknowledged in Warhol’s 1989 autobiography, The Andy Warhol Diaries. The cause of the fire is unknown, with investigations into Brassner’s death and the emergency response ongoing. Currently, the Secret Service leads the investigation.

Anti-ACTA activists protest across Europe

">
Anti-ACTA activists protest across Europe

March 23rd, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Guy Fawkes masks were on display in cities across Europe yesterday as part of a protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), an international trade agreement on copyright and intellectual property that opponents believe will limit free speech online.

Organisers of the protest said about 100,000 people turned up in German cities such as Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Hanover. In Berlin, police estimated 6,500 protestors. Protests also took place in Paris, Sofia in Bulgaria, Vilnius in Lithuania, Valetta in Malta, Tallinn in Estonia, and Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland. In London, about 200 people protested outside some major copyright holders’ offices. Last month, there were major protests in Poland when that country signed ACTA, which has led to the Polish government deciding not to ratify the agreement, for now. Latvia and Slovakia have both delayed the process of joining ACTA.

Jim Killock from the Open Rights Group, a UK digital civil liberties campaigning group, said ACTA was “undemocratic”, “lacked scrutiny”, and was “setting up dangerous new pressures to censor the internet”.

The United Kingdom have signed ACTA, along with 21 other EU countries. Germany and the Czech Republic have held out on agreeing to it, awaiting a debate on the matter in the European Parliament in June. Baroness Wilcox, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, claims signing the treaty was important to help bring about “common enforcement standards and more effective international cooperation” in intellectual property law.

Former Trump advisor, Paul Manafort, receives second sentence in U.S. Federal Court

">
Former Trump advisor, Paul Manafort, receives second sentence in U.S. Federal Court

March 22nd, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Friday, March 15, 2019

A former advisor for U.S. President Donald Trump was sentenced in U.S. Federal Court on Wednesday. Paul Manafort was sentenced by Judge Amy Berman Jackson to 73 months in federal prison and to also pay financial restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of US$6.16 million.

Manafort’s charges involved unregistered foreign lobbying and witness tampering. Judge Jackson clarified in the proceedings that her sentencing decisions were not connected to or impacted by the sentence Manafort received in a separate case for which Manafort was sentenced last week. However, as part of her admonition, Judge Jackson stated, “Saying I’m sorry I got caught is not an inspiring plea for leniency.”

In last week’s action, another federal judge sentenced Manafort to a 47 month prison term. After his conviction in that case last summer, Manafort agreed to help with Robert Mueller’s investigation. However, some months later, the judge in that case determined Manafort had lied and violated that deal. That conviction was related to Manafort’s lobbying business.

In 2018, while preparing for his first trial, Manafort was kept in solitary confinement at least 23 hours per day. In that trial, he faced 18 counts of fraud pertaining to his financial reporting for his pay while working on a foreign campaign in Ukraine.

Ford Motor Company cutting 30,000 jobs by 2012

">
Ford Motor Company cutting 30,000 jobs by 2012

March 22nd, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Ford Motor Company, the second-largest car manufacturer in America, will cut 30,000 jobs and 14 plants as part of a restructuring plan to relieve Ford after a US$1.6 billion loss last year in North American sales.

The plan, called “Way Forward”, the brainchild of Ford’s Chief Executive Officer, William Clay Ford Jr., is to end Ford’s North American losses by 2008. To accomplish this 30,000 jobs which make up 20 to 25 percent of Ford’s North American workforce of 122,000 people will be cut and 14 plants will be closed in order to bring Ford’s production capacity in line with demand.

By the end of this year, the Atlanta and St. Louis plants will be closed. Atlanta makes the Ford Taurus sedan, which is being phased out. The St. Louis plant is one of two plants that manufactures the Ford Explorer, whose sales had a 29% decline in 2005. It will also close its Wixom, Michigan plant, Batavia Transmission in Ohio the Windsor Casting plant in Ontario which was previously announced by Ford that it was to be closed after contract negotiations with the Canadian Auto Workers union.

The plant in St. Thomas, Ontario plant will have one shift cut from it. The plant makes the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis cars. On this cut of the one shift, Whitey MacDonald, chairperson of Local 1520, Canadian Auto Workers union said “There is a lot of anger here today, there is no doubt about it. Any time a plant goes to one shift, it puts them in limbo. This car has made the company millions of dollars over the years they have invested in other products and locations – we are entitled to some new investment given our track record.”

Positive news for the plant is that Ford is still committed to invest $200 million into the plant to upgrade the appearance of the two cars manufactured there. On the contrary, according to Automotive analyst Dennis DesRosier believes that the factory is still “likely” to close. DesRoiser said, “The St. Thomas plant is old, the product is old, it make sense it is on that list. This may be just a short-term reprieve, it may be look at permanent closure in two to three years.”

Two more plants will close in 2008, another two in 2012. Two more plants to be closed are to be announced later this year. Also, Ford will fire 12% of its 53 executive officers.

Due to the company’s current contract with the United Auto Workers union, workers at the idled plants will still be receiving their pay and benefits until Ford negotiates a new contract with the union. However, the workers may not earn what they earn today because they will not be eligible for overtime.

The UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and Vice President Gerald Bantom called say the plan is “extremely disappointing.” The UAW issued statement saying “The impacted hourly and salaried workers find themselves facing uncertain futures because of senior management’s failure to halt Ford’s sliding market share. The announcement has further left a cloud hanging over the entire work force because of pending future announcements of additional facilities to be closed at some point in the future.”

Teräsbetoni frontman J. Ahola on representing Finland at Eurovision 2008 & more

">
Teräsbetoni frontman J. Ahola on representing Finland at Eurovision 2008 & more

March 21st, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Teräsbetoni means “steel-reinforced concrete”, and is also the name of a Finnish heavy metal band formed in 2002. Their music, which centres on an honourable warrior lifestyle or on metal itself, quickly became popular in 2003 on the Internet, resulting in a petition by fans being sent to several record labels demanding a recording deal. In late 2004 the band signed to Warner Music Finland, and the following year debut single Taivas lyö tulta rose to number one in the Finnish charts, and debut album Metallitotuus hit number two and went platinum, and has now sold about 47,000 copies.

The band, who sing exclusively in Finnish, have just released their third album, Myrskyntuoja. The lead single on this album is Missä miehet ratsastaa, which Teräsbetoni decided to enter in the Finnish selections for the 2008 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, where it was selected to go on to the semi-final in Belgrade, Serbia as Finland’s representative this year. Although Finland has seen limited success in the contest, their only victory was with a comparable group. In 2006 hard rock band Lordi – whose monster costumes and pyrotechnic displays are famed – achieved a record 292 points in the final with Hard Rock Hallelujah.

Teräsbetoni’s frontman, vocalist and bass guitarist Jarkko Ahola’s fame extends beyond the band he heads. He also features in Finnish symphonic power metal cover supergroup Northern Kings, alongside Marco Hietala of Nightwish and Tarot, Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica and Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto of Charon.

Wikinews was able to conduct an exclusive interview with Jarkko Ahola to discuss these various achievements. This interview is now published below for the first time.

Contents

  • 1 Interview
    • 1.1 On the early days
    • 1.2 On Eurovision
    • 1.3 The new album
    • 1.4 Northern Kings
    • 1.5 The future and final words
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources

France votes no in EU referendum

">
France votes no in EU referendum

March 21st, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Sunday, May 29, 2005

In a result predicted by polls, a 54.87% majority of French voters voted non in Sunday’s European Constitution referendum. Of France’s 42 million eligible voters, over 70% turned out at the 55 thousand polling stations across the country, which were open from 8:00 to 20:00 on Sunday (except in Paris and Lyon where voting finished at 22:00, and French oversea possessions and other polling centers in the Americas, which voted on Saturday in order not to have them vote when the results are already known). A 70% turnout is very large compared to Spain 42%.

The result comes as no surprise to European political commentators as opinion polls had consistently suggested that the “No” camp was on course for a strong victory. Indeed, the last opinion poll before the actual referendum suggested a 56% win for the “No” camp.

The treaty was supported by all 3 major political parties (center-left PS, center-right UMP, center-right UDF), though a significant minority of the PS, and some in the UMP, chose to oppose it.It was opposed by the French Communist Party, as well as Trotskyite movements such as the Revolutionary Communist League, other far-left movements such as the Party of the Workers, parts of the Socialist party, parts of The Greens some members of UMP, and the nationalist National Front.

According to polls, the vast majority of blue collar workers, farmers and other categories threatened by globalization and international concurrence voted against the treaty. The urban, better educated or richer population voted in favor.

Some supporters of the “No” camp have argued that the mainstream media was biased in favor of the “yes” cause, and this was supported by some analyses of times awarded by television to both camps. However, the “no” camp also waged an aggressive campaign, with the walls of major cities being plastered with posters linking the EU Constitution and the European Union to all kind of social ills, such as high unemployment.

You can read the entire proposed European Constitution at Wikisource

Contents

  • 1 Polls
  • 2 Arguments of the “No” vote
    • 2.1 Left-wing arguments
    • 2.2 Right-wing arguments
  • 3 Arguments of the “YES” vote
  • 4 Related news
  • 5 Sister links
  • 6 Sources
  • 7 External links

Australians may choose to change head of state beyond Queen Elizabeth II: Howard

">
Australians may choose to change head of state beyond Queen Elizabeth II: Howard

March 20th, 2019

Comments ( 0 )

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has given his strongest indication yet that Australians may choose to change their head of state beyond Queen Elizabeth II‘s reign. The comments are the first from Mr Howard, a proud monarchist, casting doubt over the future of the monarchy in Australia.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Howard said that he did not believe Australia would become a republic while Queen Elizabeth II is on the throne, but he conceded that he did not know what would happen after Elizabeth II’s reign ends.

“I do not believe this country would become a republic while the Queen is on the throne; beyond that I don’t know,” Mr Howard told the BBC.

In a separate interview with British broadcaster ITV, Mr Howard refused to predict whether he thought Prince Charles would become King of Australia and indicated that it would be for the Australian people to decide.

“Well, that is a matter for the Australian people, and I believe in democracy,” he said.

“If the Australian people want to change the system, they will. But if they don’t, they won’t. The only prediction that I make is that I do not believe that this country will become a republic while the Queen is on the throne.”

Republicans have seen significance in Mr Howard’s comments. Ted O’Brien, Chair of the Australian Republican Movement said Mr Howard has provided some recognition for a possible Australian head of state.

“Mr Howard’s recognition that it is very unlikely that the country will become a republic while the present Queen is on the throne indicates quite clearly that this may not be the case when Prince Charles takes over,” he said.

“Mr Howard is an astute reader of the mood of the Australian people, and this change in language, if not in sentiment, is clearly some recognition of the likelihood of a future Australian head of state,” added Allison Henry, ARM national director.

Monarchists are urging people not to make too much from Mr Howard’s comments. Professor David Flint from Australians for Constitutional Monarchy said that to think Australia will become a republic based on Mr Howard’s comments would be grasping at straws.

“He’s just saying that he doesn’t know the future, he can’t tell the future, none of us can,” he said.

“It would be grasping at straws for the republicans to say that this means Australia will become a republic or that the Prime Minister says that.”

Tony Abbott, Australia’s health minister and staunch monarchist said he did not believe Australia would become a republic after Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Mr Abbott told ABC that he believes the person on the throne is irrelevant: it is the institution that Australians admire.

“It’s the institution, not the individual which really counts,” he said.

“I am quite confident that were the Queen to pass on and her successor to occupy the throne that there would be the same magic and same personal affection between even Australians and our monarch.”